Here are some ideas to consider and possibly discuss before you begin using this relaxation script with your child:
- Your child is in charge of her feelings. Help her to understand that she is in charge of her anger. She is at choice. Empower her to knowt that there are things she can do to feel better–such as feed the anger dragon what she needs.
- Help her to understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It sometimes can get in the way of feeling good and that is when we want to help it out.
- Address her anger non-judgementally. Allow her to feel what she feels. Help her to understand that she is in charge of how she feels and has the power to change how she feels in any given moment. These tools can help her shift how she feels when she wants to feel better.
- Listen. Be a container where all expression is okay. Just listen. Then help her to develop a plan to shift.
- Help her to understand that when she feels angry, it is simply a signal to take a look inside and see what it is that she needs right now and to get that need met so that she can feel better. She has the power to do that!
Train Your Anger Dragon Relaxation Script
Close your eyes. If it feels comfortable to gently put your hands over your eyes, you are welcome to do that. Now breathe in and feel your body relax. Breathe out and feel your body relaxing more and more. Just for right now, there is nothing to do, no where to go.
Imagine you are sitting in front of your anger dragon’s cave. Inside your anger dragon is feeling angry. You can tell by all of the smoke that is drifting out from the cave. Why is your anger dragon feeling angry? See if you can tell. Think about your anger dragon. Maybe there was something recently that you do not like and you are feeling angry about that. Know that you are always in charge of your anger dragon. If he starts to wake up or starts to blow smoke or starts to blow fire, you are in charge. Only you knows how to calm him down.
Today it seems like he is feeling angry right now. Maybe some smoke drifts out from the cave? Or maybe you see some flames sometimes bursting out from inside the cave? Now, begin to think about a situation, or something that has happened recently where you felt tense, angry, or even very very angry. Maybe it was a conversation? Maybe you were playing and someone took your toy? Maybe someone did something you did not like. As you think these thoughts, imagine that they draw your anger dragon out of the cave. Know you are always safe when you are with your dragon. You are always in charge. As he comes to the cave entrance, think more about the thing that you did not like–think more about feeling angry, as you think about it more and more, know that you wake up your anger dragon and calls him out of the cave. Standing before you is your anger dragon. You can choose to make him bigger or smaller. You can allow him to really throw a fit or to calm down. Tell him that you are in charge of caring for him, that you are completely in charge. Tell him that you are here to help him feel better.
Now, take a closer look at your anger dragon. Is it a he or a she or an it? (based on the child’s response, use that pronoun from here on out). He or she might be big, small, huge or tiny. He might be staring about wildly or simply sitting there breathing steam. What does your anger dragon look like? Is he breathing fire? Is steam pouring out of his nose? Is he showing his anger or pouting?
Now as you are looking at your anger dragon, I want you to ask him what he needs. Listen carefully. Listen with all of your heart to his response. Can you hear what it is that he needs? What is it? Pause for response. Maybe he needs a hug. Maybe he needs to know that you are okay. Maybe he needs to say something about the thing you did not like. Maybe he just needs to tell a story about what he doesn’t like and to remember that he is in charge of himself. Listen to what it is that he needs. Okay. Now you are going to feed your anger dragon what he needs. If he needs a hug, you feed him a hug. If he needs to be listened to, you give him listening. See what he needs. Imagine that you are holding the all of the very things that he needs. And you give them to him, one by one. Go ahead and feed your dragon. Great! What else does he need? Maybe he needs to hear that you love him. Maybe he need to hear some good things about him. Maybe he needs an apology. Just listen to what would make your anger dragon feel better. And keep feeding him until he feels better. Pause. Is he feeling better yet? If not, keep going. If he is, let’s let him go back to sleep. Great job!
Now, knowing you can come back to this cave any time you want to feed your anger dragon and to give him what he needs, say goodbye and allow your dragon to go back into the cave to sleep. Tell him you will be here to take care of him next time he wakes up or feels like breathing fire or is really upset. Next time you begin to feel your anger dragon waking up, come back here to listen to your dragon and feed him what he needs. You care for your dragon. You are in charge of taking care of him. Wonderful.
You can open your eyes when you are ready.